144 Comments (144 New)

USAA Community w9 request.jpg

Community users have been posting about a request to update their W-9 forms and we wanted to provide some additional information.


What is a Tax Certification (W-9 form)?

A Tax Certification (W-9 form) is a form that certifies member’s tax payer information (name and social security number). For more information on W-9 form, visit website.


Why am I being asked to update my W-9?

To ensure our members’ tax reporting information is up to date, accurate and reported correctly to the IRS, USAA may ask members to update their W-9 forms. We want to make sure we have the most accurate tax information on file. To assist with completing the W-9, we have created a digital option which allows for the document to be easily and quickly completed online.  If your account is eligible for the digital option, you should be prompted when reviewing your transactions on


Where can I update my information?

When reviewing your transactions on you should receive a “digital detour” that will prompt you to sign the required form. This is also available on mobile. If you do not see the prompt on mobile, make sure to update your device with the latest version of the USAA mobile app.


What if I do not see the prompt?

Not all members are being asked to update their W9. Those members will not see the “digital detour”.

Or, your account is not eligible for digital detour. If your account is not eligible for digital detour, you will receive a W-9 form in the mail. If you prefer the W-9 form mailed to you, please call us at 800-531-USAA (8722).


Do you have any other questions we can help answer regarding the W-9 update request?

Occasional Visitor

I am deeply disapoointed in USAA after this W( issue.  First of all, my familiy and I have been targeted by this W9 request garbage on multiple occations over the last few years.  It start with my minor childrens' accounts.  I did not recieve any infomation on the W9 issue and they started backup withhoding.   I happened to be on line an realized they had been withhold taxes from my kids accounts for months.  I then recieve a notice earlier this year about my wife.  We went through a nightmare of filling the form out at least four times before they  finally stopped harrasing us.  Now my kids accounts are again havign backup withholding for months because I did not recieve another notice.    I have other finacial institutions and not one has asked me to update my W9.  I asked if I could recover the withholdings and they said no. 

New Member

This may be valid but comes across as really weird. I received the email today to update my W- 9 or else and immediately assumed it was a scam.  I've had a small checking account with USAA for over 20 years and don't ever remember being asked for a W-9 update.  I have other accounts with Chase going on 15 years and I've never been asked for a W-9 update from them. I don't ever remember being asked from a bank to update my W-9.  Why now?  What has changed?


Then when I logged into my account there is nothing in my messages or notifications about this.  Just seems weird, still feels like a phishing scam. 

New Member

I just got a popup on my app that said I needed to complete a W-9 form.  No information was provided at all to explain why.  As a member for going on 41 years, I didn't understand this, so I called.  The woman on the phone was very snippy and rude, because I had the nerve to say I didn't understand, and dared to interrupt her spiel with my questions.  I asked why this was happening now, as I've received 1099s for years without any issue, and she couldn't answer me.  Said it was the IRS's fault.  She said they'd be doing backup withholding if I didn't complete the form, and I said go for it, since USAA's interest rate is so abysmal I make about a penny a month.  I told her I would not be filling out the form, and that's when she got really rude.  Finally I said it was clear she did not want to talk to me, and I hung up.


I've long since moved almost all my money to other institutions, mostly because of the steadily declining customer service.  No wonder USAA has to advertise now; used to be word of mouth was enough to get customers through the door.   

New Member

USAA has severely disappointed on this issue.  I got the notices for my children's savings accounts in the mail.  I called the number and asked how to fill out online.  "It will be automatic," they said. It wasn't.  And there is no "complete tax forms" anywhere in my account (like EVERY OTHER financial institution I work with).  How about "fill out W-9" under the account in question.  Your phone rep was wrong. The Live Chat via web browser was UNBELIEVABLY painful.  Your "automatic detour" or whatever isn't there. Please fix.


Let me say I am disappointed with USAA as well. The message was threatening, and it conveyed something that should not have been done in the way it was.  When I talked with an agent after reveiwing all the information here, I was able to get someone who at least made some reasonable request on why I should do it, "I have a legacy account" and "the W-9 form is being requested to be updated as it is a really old form".  This should have been the approach USAA took, but instead it decided to threaten and berate those members like us in the e-mail.  Shame on you.


On a side note, after the more nicely asked plea from the person, I agreed to do the form, but will be closing out this bank account in the next few years in my attempts to conslidate accounts.  This was not going to be the case, but this e-mail was the final straw with the lack of service in the last couple of years, so this account is the on the chopping block.  If you don't agree with the way this is being done, please do the same.

USAA Service
USAA Service

@WD3839, we are sadden to read of your experience with your account. This is never how we want our members to feel.  I will have this matter looked into.  We appreciate you letting us know. 

Occasional Visitor

I'm not seeing where there is apparently much concern regarding how this information is relayed or make your customers feel, as the wording has not been changed in over a year. According to the first response on this blog, USAA was first informed of this issue in Sep 2018, now more than a year later it has still not been corrected. The notification still comes across as threatening, "Sign this or...". That just is not the way you get people to voluntarily do things. The way your customers perceive things do in fact determine your effectiveness as a company. I've personally been a member of USAA since the early 90's and to be honest I believe it's focuses has shifted in the past 3-4 years. It used to be all about the member, now is resembles any other corporate banking institution and the members are not liking that.

Occasional Visitor

Dear USAA,


I have signed and submitted this shady document and wasted my time reading IRS data so see what the heck this is all about.


  1. Not a accountant
    • (please make the message more user friendly and understandable)
  2. 3 times filled in a week - I did it twice now on a computer and once on my phone
    • (how many times until I dont have to sign it anymore?

Best regards,



New Member

I was surprised to see the e-mail when we got it and thought it was a fishing e-mail until we logged into the app.  USAA is usually pretty savvy with their IT work but this was troubling to see.  Using e-mail for this sort of request is bad form given this is a major vector for account compromise.  I understand verification of identity in banking is important but this was not well thought out.  We also find the fact that we are continuing to be asked for verification to be even more irritating.  Please get this fixed and please rethink how this is requested.  If it is important, you won't make it look like a textbook phishing e-mail.

Occasional Visitor

This month USAA withheld $0.01 from my checking for taxes.


Some would say to just fill out the form but its tiny annoyances that get me. Such as having to fill out a form with information my bank already knows. Or even bigger having to enter my security question answers every other login even after checking remember my computer.


Time to start using my dormant Schwab account.